Man's identity still unknown

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Hospital officials at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver would not reveal the identity of a man who passed away Saturday night after being discovered, unconscious and not breathing, at Strawberry Park Hot Springs.

The man, said to be in his mid-30s, was found in the upper pool of the hot springs at about 5:15 p.m. Saturday and was taken by ambulance to Yampa Valley Medical Center. He reportedly still was alive when he arrived, but he died in Denver. University of Colorado Hospital would not reveal the cause of death.

The man was found in the upper pool at the hot springs, which is 104 or 105 degrees -- the temperature of most hot tubs, said Strawberry Park Hot Springs staff member Brent Olson.

"We did (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on him for a long time," Olson said. "We were able to get his heart going again."

It was unclear how long the man had been unconscious. His body was still warm because of the water. He was not floating face down in the water, Olson said. "He was leaning up against a rock. He looked like he was just relaxing."

Olson called 911 and then joined the effort to resuscitate the man.

"One of the nice things about Steamboat is that people are pretty conscious about having their certifications up to date," Olson said. "CPR is hard, so we took turns." A group of five people took turns pushing air into the man's lungs and doing heart compressions.

"I didn't get to know him. He was just another guy who came in," Olson said.

Hot springs staff found the man's wallet and keys to his silver Durango. They looked for people who could identify the man, but he had come to the hot springs by himself.

"It's so sad when this happens," Olson said. "I always warn people about hot water and dehydration on a warm afternoon. You have to be careful."

The incident is under investigation by the Routt County Sheriff's Office. Investigating Sgt. Troy McDaniel could not be reached for comment.

-- To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210

or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com

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